05/03/2016  |  The Road to World Beer Cup

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Each year, the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) travels to different cities to set up shop and provide a collaborative environment filled with the latest in brewing education, products and services. The CBC is a unique networking event attended by over 10,000 craft brewing industry professionals and this year we’re proud to boast that it’s right here on our home turf—Philadelphia, PA.

In addition to being held locally, this year’s CBC is also especially exciting due to its coinciding with the World Beer Cup, a bi-annual global competition that recognizes brewing excellence in over 90 style categories. Since it began in 1996—the same year our first location opened—Iron Hill has won 25 awards.

This and every year, we put our brewers and their beers through an extensive tasting and elimination process. Each location submits samples of various styles of beer to be judged based upon the beer style guidelines provided by the Brewers Association. The tasting panel—made up of brewers from all Iron Hill locations—then evaluates almost 100 samples from a mixture of house and seasonal beers.

The brewers convene in the conference room at Iron Hill headquarters and are presented with 13 rounds containing 4 to 10 samples each, every round defined by a style category—Russians, Belgians, Sours and so on. The samples are kept anonymous so that no one is aware which beers came from which brewer or location. During each round, all participants are presented with 2-3 ounces of any beer that has been entered for that style. The brewers are also provided with water, buckets for disposing excess, matzah to cleanse the palate, and a pen and paper for notes.

The brewers examine and sip each beer and consider things like color, clarity, aroma, mouthfeel and of course, taste. During this time, concentration levels are high and noise levels are low—the silence only broken by someone’s occasional choke on the dry, crumbly matzah. Once everyone has gone through each entry, the conversation begins. Brewers give their notes about each beer, voicing critiques such as, “This one has a good nose but it’s flat on the finish,” “I like this one but there’s better beers on the table,” or simply, “Meh.” Once everyone talks it out and agrees that a beer will not advance, it is dumped into the buckets. If more than one beer remains on the table once all have been discussed, the brewers will then taste and examine the samples again before taking a final vote to decide which will be sent to WBC.

The process lasts the entire afternoon and the brewers end up sampling close to 100 beers. To maintain their palate and to limit consumption, each person is asked to sit out from at least three tastings, with reasons varying from someone just not liking a certain style of beer and thus not feeling as though they can accurately judge, or because after sampling so many beers, it’s sometimes best to pass on a high ABV round.

It’s a pretty amazing thing to witness, and during certain rounds the intensity is especially palpable. During an Abbey Dubbel tasting, the brewers are presented with their samples and everyone starts sipping and scribbling away. As they make their way through this particular line-up, a few eyes start to look up and dart around the room to one another. It’s extremely quiet but you can see the anxious excitement on a few of their faces. Finally, someone speaks out and states, “They’re all really, really good…” Everyone nods and mumbles in agreement, and while they’re all proud, they realize this means a difficult choice lies ahead. Someone clears their throat and responds—through smiling, gritted teeth—“Yeah, this is going to be a really tough one.”

Listening to everyone’s notes about each entry really highlights how much our brewers truly know about beer, and the debates back and forth about which should advance shows how passionate they are about what they do. In the end, 16 lucky beers were chosen from the panel as entries into the World Beer Cup. Judging will begin on Sunday, May 1st, and winners will be announced during the May 6th award ceremony at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. In addition to the competition, Iron Hill will also be participating in several other Craft Beer Conference events. We’ll be pouring beer during the Opening Reception on May 3rd and at the trade show throughout the week, that same night we will be part of the Brotherly Suds event taking place at Johnny Brenda’s, and on May 5th Iron Hill will host a tap takeover at The Industry Bar in South Philadelphia starting at 8:00 p.m.

 

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Sophia DiPersio.

 

 

04/19/2016  |  Iron Hill Collaborates with the Media Beer Ladies

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My Fellow Beer Fans,

Back in late March we had the pleasure of brewing a collaboration beer with the ladies from Media’s own social beer drinking group, the Media Beer Ladies. The ladies were out in full force to lend a hand and of course make sure all of our beers were tasting just right. It was a sweaty and fun filled day and our labors bore the fruits of a delicious Imperial American Porter we dubbed “Iron Lady Porter,” our little nod to the collaboration between the Beer Ladies and Iron Hill. Sorry to disappoint you Margaret Thatcher fans out there.

Now, some of you might be asking, “Who are these mysterious Media Beer Ladies?” And, “How did this whole collaboration come into fruition?” Let me tackle these questions for you…

The mysterious Media Beer Ladies are, as defined by member and founder Brook Penders, “a social group for beer-forward women.” Brooke founded the group back in 2012, with sister groups West Chester and Pittsburgh, and currently are 450 members strong. The club combines two beloved traditions: girls’ night out and drinking great beer. Great beer is easy to come by when you’re situated in the Greater Philadelphia area. We have access to some of the most amazing craft beer in the nation and Brooke wanted to capitalize on this, plus hold regular events that appealed to women who enjoyed great beer. Thus the Media Beer Ladies were formed. Their events tend to focus on beer tastings, beer and food pairings, beer education and most importantly socializing to increase and expand friendships/relationships. They always encourage like-minded women to attend their events and ask that you bring along your mom, sister, best friends and co-workers to share in their next event. For more information on the Media Beer Ladies, check them out on the web at: www.mediabeerladies.com.

Our collaborations started back in late January when I was contacted by Brooke about hosting an event for the Media Beer Ladies. Our original ideas centered on a small beer and food pairing, or a night out sampling beers and touring the brewery. I couldn’t subject the women to a night of me constantly “geeking out” about beer (it would be similar to watching paint dry). So, I made the off-handed suggestion of a collaboration brew. Brooke took to the idea right away as it was something the group had never been involved in before. From there the question became, “What do we brew?” We left that decision up to the rest of the ladies. The votes came back right away and we had suggestions ranging from a German Marzen to an American IPA to a Barrel-Aged Sour Beer. We eventually settled on an American Imperial Porter that we rightfully named “Iron Lady Porter”.

The Media Beer Ladies and I invite you to join us for the release of our “Iron Lady Porter” from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20th. We are planning on making a few one off variations of the beer for the official tap date so make sure you stop by to snag a few tasty sips of some of these limited edition brews.

Cheers,

Andrew

 

03/18/2016  |  Inside the Mind of an Iron Hill Chef—Dan Bethard

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We know it’s no surprise that we’re known for our beer—and we’re darn proud of the awards we’ve consistently won at the Great American Beer Festival (every year since 1997!) and the World Beer Cup. But we’re just as proud of our from-scratch culinary program that’s front-and-center in our mission to provide the highest quality fresh food, fresh beer and great service.

We know those lofty goals start with our people, the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant family. Allow us to brag a moment on the award-winning food they create, cook and serve. We’re proud to have won Best Brewpub numerous times at the World Beer Cup and from Main Line Today magazine, plus at the Great American Beer Festival and from Philadelphia Magazine, Zagat, Brewpub Magazine and other publications and guides too numerous to mention. (Goodness, we’re blushing!)

At the heart of those medals and trophies is our culinary team. They’re the brains—and the brawn—behind our fresh menus of seasonally inspired American cuisine peppered with global influences. But what is it really like to be a chef?

We thought the best way to find out was to delve into a chef’s mind, so we picked assistant director of culinary operations Dan Bethard’s brain. Who better than an Iron Hill lifer?

“I’m proud to be the first employee hired by Kevin, Kevin and Mark. It’ll be 20 years this fall,” Dan began. “There are so many great things about working at Iron Hill, but the constant has been the great people. We have a lot of amazing people, all working for the same goal.”

We’re just as excited to have Dan on our team as he is to be a part of Iron Hill. Dan was our head chef, then an executive chef before becoming the assistant director of culinary operations. He’s seamlessly slipped into various roles over the years to open new restaurants, run kitchens, develop menus and recipes, work with our vendors—and so much more.

“I’ve worn many different hats,” Dan laughs. “But I’d say my biggest accomplishment was winning the Iron Hill Award of Excellence. It’s great to be recognized by your peers.”

Enjoying a taste of what makes Dan tick? Read on and learn more about what goes on inside the mind of a chef.

Besides a love for all things food-related, why did you become a chef?

There’s a love for food, yes, but I’ve also always been one to lead. At some point in my career, it was just a natural transition to step into the role of running a kitchen. It takes vision, ability, passion and drive to produce outstanding food and delight customers.

Where did you get your training?

I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t have student loans! I’ve benefited by my God-given abilities and by working under and for some really talented people. I’ve had some great mentors in my life and will be forever grateful. Working hard when I was younger and working smarter as I matured has been the key to my career.

What’s your favorite part about being a chef?

Being part of a team. Putting together and leading a team that kicks butt, shift after shift, is really gratifying. There is nothing like a kitchen that is working in unison and serving great food. It’s a beautiful thing.

What’s the most challenging part about being a chef?

I think the most challenging part is keeping your staff engaged. When I run a kitchen, I find time to teach cooks something new or encourage them to be part of menu planning. It makes them feel important and makes our kitchen better. If young cooks aren’t learning from the chef, they’ll probably move on.

Is there’s a dish on the original menu that we’re still enjoying 20 years later?

The Louisiana Chicken Gumbo has stood the test of time. That’s the dish I’m most proud of because we consistently get great comments from guests. I’ve had numerous people tell me it’s better than anything they’ve had in New Orleans. That’s a proud moment!

Is there any dish you’d bring back?

There are a lot of dishes I’d consider bringing back but probably not in the same form. I look back on occasion and rethink a dish based on newer techniques and my growth as a chef. One that comes to mind is our Tuna Tataki—I’d make that more contemporary, adding in ingredients like sweet pineapple and spicy sambal.

Why is from-scratch New American cuisine important at Iron Hill?

I can’t think of anything we couldn’t make from scratch that would be better off purchased. Doing food from scratch is really the only way to go. And we’re very proud of that! Our beer-influenced menu is packed with dishes that speak to our love for food and show off how our food and beer go together.

How did the global influences appear on the menu?

Drawing from different cuisines has always been a part of our food program. It gives our guests a wide range options and flavors—something for everyone. We love creating a diverse and eclectic menu of cuisines that pair well with our beers.

What’s your favorite Iron Hill food and beer pairing?

That’s a tough question. It’s probably whatever I’m eating and drinking together. Honestly, there have been so many great beer and food pairings over the years—it’s hard to choose! We have a great pairing on the horizon with our Mahalo Apollo! and the Huli Huli Wings: total harmony!

I’d also recommend these pairings from our upcoming spring/summer menu: Voodoo Shrimp with Ore House IPA, Jamaican Jerk Pork Porterhouse with Ore House IPA or White Iron Wit and Nachos al Pastor with Vienna Red Lager.

Why do you keep the comfort classics on the menu like meatloaf and pot pie?

Comfort food is home. Eating those dishes takes me back to my childhood and the memories of eating mom’s cooking. Our guests love those dishes and we make sure they don’t disappoint.

What motivates you each day?

My family and the Iron Hill family count on me to do my best—that need drives me every day. Doing the best job possible has always and will remain always at the core of my existence. When someone stops me to tell me how much they love Iron Hill … that’s what it’s all about.

What’s one thing the average person wouldn’t know about being a chef?

Being a chef isn’t what most people think it is—there’s a ton of organization involved, and planning and implementation can be difficult. I think people who haven’t worked in the industry just think it’s cooking food. There are so many moving parts, and orchestrating the controlled chaos is a daily challenge.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

My one- and three-year-old boys are my hobbies (LOL!). I actually also enjoy the solitude of yardwork and tending to my own fresh ingredients in my gardens.

What’s one thing no one knows about you?

This always gets the biggest laugh: I was voted “most school spirit” in the seventh grade!

Would you like to give a shout-out to your family?

A chef’s hours can be a strain on family life. I’m so lucky to be supported and inspired by my beautiful wife, Kelly, and our two boys Daniel and Henry.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

 

03/14/2016  |  Welcome to the Family: O’Sullivan Stout Debuts Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day

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The very Irish name to be newly bestowed upon our signature Irish Dry Stout comes with a tale as charming as the Emerald Isle itself. It starts with two lads on a journey and ends with this year’s release of O’Sullivan Stout.

Four years before Mark Edelson and Kevin Finn opened their first Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant with Kevin Davies, they found themselves heading to a wedding in Belgium and decided to detour through Ireland. Mark and Kevin both have Irish roots, and Mark’s family homestead still stands proudly in Glanworth, County Cork. They’d heard tales of the town from Mark’s grandfather, who, though US born, spent summers in Ireland. Mark’s great uncle, Tomás O’Sullivan, still lives on the family homestead and, even in his late 80s, keeps himself busy raising greyhounds. And mowing the family cemetery.

“You would not believe how important the cemetery is there,” Mark explained. “That’s the first place he took us, telling us about the entire family history as we went from gravestone to gravestone. He even had my great grandmother’s obituary that proudly talked about the sons she raised and how they fought for Ireland.”

The day was filled with many stories, as the homestead dates back more than a century. Mark and Kevin no doubt gave Tomás a new tale to tell, as they didn’t call ahead about their visit but instead surprised him. Glanworth is such a small village that they simply stopped in the post office, asked where Tomás lived and made their way to his front door, where they were greeted with back slaps and hugs and a trip to the pub for a pint (or several) of that other dry Irish stout.

As avid award-winning homebrewers, Mark and Kevin’s four days in Ireland did include a pilgrimage to the Guinness Brewery. Yet all these years later the moments that really stick are family and a small Irish village, and relatives and new friends so happy to meet the boys from the states.

“We ran into one of my grandfather’s childhood friends, and when Uncle Tomás asked, ‘Guess who this is?,’ he was close—he thought I was my uncle, but he knew I was family,” Mark added.

As of Thursday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m., O’Sullivan Stout will return to the Iron Hill family—which first debuted in 2014. Simultaneously released at all 11 Iron Hill locations, the Stout will be celebrated through Sunday, March 20. O’Sullivan Stout (OG: 1.038; Color: 50; IBU: 20; ABV: 3.8%) is a classic made in the Irish tradition: it’s black in color with a toasty malt flavor and a pronounced bitterness, served on nitro for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It will be the perfect accompaniment to the Irish food specials running St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Mark’s family has been ecstatic over the renaming since the O’Sullivan Stout officially debuted in 2014. You’ll be delighted when you get your share and taste what it’s like to come from the Land of Saints and Scholars. Sláinte!

Nina Malone

02/24/2016  |  See Ya Later, Milk—We Pair Our Cookies with Beer

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Let’s be honest, we all know when it’s Girl Scout cookie time.  Those young ladies are posted up all over the place trying to get you to forget about your New Year’s resolution to lose those extra 15 pounds and instead buy a box of cookies.  Personally, my kryptonite comes in the form of Samoas (or Caramel deLites, depending on where you’re from) and I just can’t say no to a box of them.

I have a place near and dear in my heart for the Girl Scouts as I was part of the organization for 9 years, working hard to earn my Silver Award as a Cadette.  We took a neglected area of a local park and designed, installed, and maintained a butterfly garden for the community to enjoy.  Some of my best memories come from those years, and I learned a lot from my time in the organization. Cue cheesy little kid picture – we participated in the town Halloween parade every year as a troop and this year in particular was “Brownies from Around the World”.  That’s me, carrying the banner, representing Denmark…

Now, you’re probably reading this, wondering to yourself what this has to do with anything.  Beer and cookies, my friend.  They are two of my absolute favorite things and frankly they go pretty well with one another.  So, we’re teaming up with the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay and doing exactly that for the second year in a row.  Saturday, February 27th from 1-5pm we will be pairing 6 Girl Scout cookies with 6 Iron Hill beers at our Newark location:

Abbey Dubbel paired with Toffee-tactics

Cowabunga Porter paired with Samoas (if I don’t eat them all first!)

Luca Brasi paired with Trefoils

Om Nom Nom paired with Rah Rah Raisins

Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout paired with Tagalongs

Russian Imperial Stout paired with Thin Mints

(If you’re a King of the Hill member, you’re going to be getting an exclusive, complimentary 7th pairing – White Out IPA paired with Savannah Smiles!)

We’re also going to be featuring a dessert for that day made WITH Girl Scout cookies – a Savannah Smiles parfait: lemon curd, vanilla bean mascarpone, Savannah Smile cookie crumble, whipped cream and bruleed lemon wheel. To show our appreciation, 20% of the proceeds from all of the featured desserts sold on Saturday will be donated back to the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay.

A local troop will be setting up shop on the patio and braving the February weather to have cookies available for purchase.  So, when you figure out what your favorite pairing is from the sampler, you can fill up a growler of the beer and grab a box of the cookies on your way out and enjoy them at home.

Beer and cookies – I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday…

Your brewer and former Girl Scout,

Moriah

 

02/17/2016  |  How to Plan a Successful Power Lunch at Iron Hill

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Wait—business meetings are boring? That’s a new concept to us, because when you hold them at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, they’re far from dull thanks to our generous menu, comfortable seating and attentive staff.

You’ll hit a full-out sprint exiting your stuffy conference room to soak up our lunchtime ambience. Choose Iron Hill because of our cuisine, of course, but we’ve got a lot more to offer the savvy businessperson:

  • Reservations show your client is important—no waiting! Call your favorite Iron Hill, or reserve a table on our website for quick and easy reservations through OpenTable.
  • Our menu caters to everyone, even those with gluten and allergen sensitivities. Something from our appetizers, shared plates, small plates, entrees, salad starters, big salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, soups, healthy selections or brewhouse favorites is sure to delight even the most picky eater (client!).
  • Private booths keep your business between you and your guests. Make sure to request a booth when you call or in your OpenTable notes.
  • Looking to host a bigger crowd? Ring your favorite Iron Hill and ask for the event planner. We’re happy to help!

Knocking a power lunch out of the park is more than just logistics and great eats, though. We’ve gathered 7 tips so your next Iron Hill power lunch is a smashing success.

1. It’s still a meeting—just a delicious one. Come prepared as you would for any important tête-à-tête. Make sure you have defined goals and objectives, an agenda and your desired outcomes. You don’t necessarily have to whip out a packet—but you can if that’s relevant—just make sure your house is in order before you sit down.

2. Arrive early. We won’t make your guests wait for a table, so make sure they’re not waiting on you. Aim to arrive at the restaurant at least 15 minutes early, and check in with the host. He’ll be ready to whisk your party to your table when your guests arrive.

3. Stick to business. Sure, you’ll look like the best lunch meeting planner ever by suggesting Iron Hill. Just make sure you don’t get too comfortable or overly personal—it’s a brewpub, but you’re visiting for a power lunch. Dress appropriately to your profession, just as you would if the meeting was in your office. Feel free to start with some small talk, but then get to your agenda to respect your guests’ time.

4. Order early. Our staff members are attentive and friendly, so let the server know you’re there for a business lunch and will be ordering rather quickly. This will encourage your guests to eyeball the menu and be ready when your server next swings by. Ordering early means you’ll have uninterrupted time to chat before the food arrives.

5. The elephant in the room: alcohol. You’re in charge of this meeting, so it’s up to you whether to indulge in one of our signature beers or other adult libations from our full bar. This is totally your call: you’ll know what to do, just do it first to take any pressure off your guests. And even though we’re a brewpub, it’s perfectly fine to enjoy only soft drinks. Whatever you order—start with a toast. There’s no wrong way to “cheers” to a great lunch meeting.

6. No selfies—we repeat, no selfies! We know our plated meals are picture-perfect, but a power lunch is not the time to snap pictures of your food—or selfies. It’s also most certainly not the time to post on social media. The pro move: silence your phone and put it in your pocket, briefcase or bag. That will encourage your guests to do the same.

7. Pick up the check. Your meeting, your bill. If the opportunity presents itself to privately ask your server to hand you the bill, perfect. If not, have your credit card handy and when your server approaches with the check, simply reach out and accept it. If your guests protest, just slip your credit card in with the check, hand it back to the server and smile. (They won’t protest twice.)

When the bill is paid, the final handshakes (and deals?) have been made and you’re back in your car, feel free to fist pump yourself for a job well done. Do let us know how we did, as well as how we might serve your business needs in the future. We hope to see you for a power lunch—soon.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

02/12/2016  |  5 Dining Out Tips for Healthy Eating at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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We believe in big taste—and not just when it comes to beer. We’ve carefully crafted a menu packed with fresh takes on favorites and Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant specialties. We’re particularly proud of our Healthy Selections, three tasty entrees clocking in under 600 calories.

We did say tasty, right? And under 600 calories? Just checking. Drool over:

  • Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin Medallions with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, asparagus spears and Madeira wine sauce
  • Moroccan Salmon with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, red onion jam, asparagus spears, scallion sauce and lemon
  • Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Breast with wasabi vinaigrette dressed greens, sesame glazed asparagus spears, roasted red peppers and white rice

What to do, then, when you have a hankering for our other entrees, brewhouse favorites, hearth baked pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and more? We reached out to local expert Kimberly Knipe, MBA, RD, LDN, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s coordinator of Community Nutrition and Outreach. She had high praise for our under-600 selections and offered easy ways to sample other must-haves on our menu even when you want to (or need to!) cut the calories.

“And remember, if you dine out frequently, know that every dinner out is not a ‘special occasion,’” Kim explained. “Adopting that mindset is always rule number one.”

Top 5 Tips for Healthy Eating at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

  1. Use the Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s easy and fun nutrition calculator. Kim finds it unique because it allows you to add and subtract sauces, dressings and side dishes to build a meal that suits your needs. “Most places don’t let you do that,” she added. “At Iron Hill, you can build your entire meal in advance so you’re not tempted to stray from your goals.”
  2. Now that you’ve planned your meal, order first. Kim says this will help you stick to your plan (plus you might influence someone else at the table, too).
  3. Ask for a to-go box to come when your meal is served. Kim explains that, depending on the size of the meal, sometimes boxing half up right away is the way to go. You’ll stay on track and you’ll have tasty Iron Hill leftovers for a second meal.
  4. Choose water or unsweetened drinks, and don’t waste calories on soda. Kim notes sweet soda can impact the taste of your food. Our beer and food options pair well together, so she suggests saving your liquid calories for a beer instead of sugary soda. You can always ask your server or bartender for something less than a pint, too. We have options!
  5. Eating healthy isn’t about feeling deprived; it’s about good choices. Kim says if you’re eying an appetizer or dessert, order it for the table and just have a bite or two.

Our nutrition calculator really caught Kim’s attention, and we’re proud to offer this handy tool to help our customers make smart and delicious choices. Here are a few menu items Kim tweaked to lower calories while keeping the big flavors we know you love:

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Appetizer

Leave off the horseradish chive sauce and save 182 calories. Just squeeze the lemon wedge over those savory scallops atop bibb lettuce. Want that horseradish bite? Order it on the side, and just dip (don’t scoop!) your fork into it before each bite.

Salads

Always get the dressings on the side, even a healthier vinaigrette. Stir with your fork and dip into the side dressing to grab flavor with less calories. Going completely without on our California Shrimp Salad saves you 141 calories. Bagging the breadstick saves another 132 calories. And you’ll still get plenty of bold tastes from avocado slices, grilled shrimp, mandarin oranges, pickled red onions, sweet corn relish and crispy wonton strips on seasoned mesclun greens.

Entrees

Try our Baked Eastern Shore Crab Cakes with Kim-recommended creamy mustard sauce with chives on the side. You save 277 calories by going without, or use the fork-dipping technique to nip a bit of the sauce. Either way, you won’t be disappointed in our hearty crab cakes with sweet corn relish, plus wedge fries. (Pro move: box up half the fries and save another 105 calories.)

“Using the calculator couldn’t be easier,” Kim said. “Don’t assume! Iron Hill gives us this great tool, so use the nutrition calculator before you go, if possible, or on your smartphone at the restaurant. It’s also impressive they use 100 percent trans fat-free oils. I’ve noticed Iron Hill is very accommodating when ordering things on the side and other modifications. Go ahead and ask.”

Kim is correct: we aim to please. Let your server or bartender know your preferences, and absolutely alert them of any food allergies, too. Most dietary preferences can be accommodated—check out our Gluten Allergen Friendly and Kids Gluten Allergen Friendly menus.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

02/04/2016  |  Viking Feast: A Meal as Mighty as Its Namesake

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On Tuesday, January 12th, Iron Hill Maple Shade hosted Viking Feast—a Beer Dinner that invited guests to enjoy specially prepared dishes based on the Viking diet, along with a complementary Iron Hill beer pairing.

For those seeking a little insight into how a successful Iron Hill Beer Dinner goes down, Viking Feast is a prime example. One of Iron Hill’s fastest selling Beer Dinners to date, planning for Viking Feast began with an enticing and well-researched menu created by Maple Shade’s Head Chef, Scot Seher, using ingredients that would have been readily available to the Vikings. From there, Seher and Head Brewer Josh Ervine partnered each dish with a handcrafted beer that would enhance the flavors of each course.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a glass of Keller Pils, a German lager whose firm bitterness and dry, crisp finish perfectly balanced the salted and citrusy flavor of the first dish—Torsk Med Eggsaus. Otherwise known as Salt Poached Cod, Torsk Med Eggsaus featured cod poached in salt, lemon, whey and water. To create the eggsaus, Seher combined the poaching liquid with hard-boiled egg, brunoise of carrot, tomato, garlic, chervil, parsley and pepper, and then plated the cod with baked purple Peruvian potato chips and roasted heirloom carrots.

As an added bonus to the meal, between each course Seher and Ervine addressed the guests and explained a bit about the dish choices and how they related to the Viking diet. Interestingly, Seher explained that the Vikings had access to many different sources of food—fish and other seafood from water sources, game meats from the wilderness, and chicken, lamb and pig that they often farmed—which afforded them an extremely balanced diet and very few vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, Seher noted that curing was a typical preserving process back then, so dishes like the Salt Poached Cod really rang true to the Viking Age.

Another common preserving technique would make an appearance during the second course. Known as Rökt Fisk, or Smoked Trout with Barley Flat Bread, Seher cold smoked rainbow trout and then pan seared the fish to keep the skin nice and crispy. The flatbread—made from barley, caraway, and wheat flower—was rolled out and grilled until cooked through.  The trout and flatbread were then plated with a delicious whipped dill cream and thinly sliced pickled watermelon radish for some extra color and a little bite. For the beer pairing, Ervine chose Rye IPA to complement the caraway and malt notes found in the flatbread and smoked trout.

The third dish, Lammefrikassé, also known as Lamb Stew, featured a slow simmered leg of lamb with root vegetables, potatoes, lima beans, and fresh herbs simmered together for 12 hours until thick and tender. For the accompanying slice of bread, Seher churned excess lamb in with the butter to create an even more flavorful spread. To complement the heartiness of the stew without overpowering it, Seher and Ervine agreed upon Old Ale—a traditional English-style brown ale with distinct malty sweetness and fruity aromas.

Next, guests were presented with Dyresteg, or Roasted Venison Loin. Dry rubbed and roasted over an open flame, the venison was then lightly smoked, carved and served at medium rare with a sauté of turnips, leeks, garlic and butter. For the sauce, Seher reduced a veal demi-glace down with fresh herbs, garlic and shallots and whipped in extra goat cheese to produce a creamy yet meaty taste and texture. The beer pairing, Iron Hill’s award-winning Russian Imperial Stout, was a strong choice to cut the fat in the sauce while subduing slightly against the goat cheese and minimal gaminess of the venison.

For the final course, Pannekake Og Beries—Wheat Pancake with Berries in non-Viking speak—Seher paired wheat and honey pancakes with fresh berries and housemade skyr, a cultured dairy product he described as comparable to ricotta cheese mixed with Greek yogurt. Because the Vikings used honey instead of sugar, Seher folded in honey and lemon zest to lightly sweeten the skyr, and then paired the dish with Ervine’s Bier de Lars, Iron Hill’s Bier de Mars recipe with added honey.

In the end, each course was as visually appealing as it was appetizing. Colorful, complex and true to the night’s theme, compliments about each pairing flowed as easily and as often as the beer itself. It was apparent from the first bite, and from the hustling and attentive staff, that the entire event was meticulously thought-out and executed with pride. For those who were not fortunate enough to attend Viking Feast, make sure to sign up for your local Iron Hill’s e-newsletter to stay in the know about any future Beer Dinners and/or other events.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Sophia DiPersio.

 

 

 

01/19/2016  |  The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming … to Iron Hill!

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment

Due to the potential upcoming snow storm, we will be postponing British Invasion until Saturday, February 6th.

Forget Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride to warn his countrymen that the Brits were about to invade—there’s another British Invasion ready to storm Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville on Saturday, January 23, from 1–5 p.m.

You thought the British Invasion was in the psychedelic ‘60s, when rock and pop acts from across the pond changed the course of music history? True, mate, but our legit British Invasion Multi-Tap will change the way you think about beer (again!). You’ll be gobsmacked over our lineup, eight beers that would make the Royal Family proud (including four cask selections):

  1. English Strong Ale: traditional English-style brown ale with a distinct malty sweetness and fruity aromas that deepen with age
  2. Burton IPA: an IPA in the English tradition, subtle malt flavors with robust earthy, floral hop character and a dry, refreshing finish
  3. Anvil Ale: medium-bodied and copper-colored English-style best bitter with a noticeable malt flavor; finishes with a hop bitterness and floral hop flavor
  4. Nut Brown Ale: medium-bodied, chestnut colored English ale; slightly nutty malt flavor and aroma with a well-balanced bitterness in the finish
  5. English Strong Ale: cask conditioned traditional English-style brown ale with a distinct malty sweetness and fruity aromas that deepen with age
  6. Ore House IPA: cask conditioned golden IPA with a balanced hop bitterness and wonderful citrus and pine aroma and flavor
  7. Anvil Ale: cask conditioned medium-bodied and copper-colored English-style best bitter with a noticeable malt flavor; finishes with a hop bitterness and floral hop flavor
  8. Nut Brown Ale: cask conditioned medium-bodied, chestnut colored English ale; slightly nutty malt flavor and aroma with a well-balanced bitterness in the finish

Can’t choose? Why should you when you can enjoy a flight—that’s 4 ounces of all eight of our English-style beauties. We’ll also be serving up a British-inspired menu, too—jolly good fun.

King of the Hill (KOTH) Rewards Club members—your exclusive is simply brilliant. You, our most loyal customers, may sip our most awarded beer, Russian Imperial Stout. It’s a full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malty sweet and high-roasted character that is wonderfully balanced with the use of citrusy American hops.

KOTH bonus: The first 50 members to order a sampler will get a free event T-shirt. Cheers!

Not a KOTH member yet? Ask your server to sign you up so you can grab these event specials and start earning rewards.

Shout it from the rooftops—or #BritishInvasion2016 on social media—that we’ve got a hunky-dory party afoot in Phoenixville on January 23. Join us, won’t you?

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

01/15/2016  |  An Insider’s Guide to Our Annual Belgium Comes to West Chester Event

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment

What’s the best part about winter? It has to be Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s biggest multi-tap of the year: our annual salute to one of our favorite beer styles and a chance to party with our brewery friends and with you, our customers. It’s time for Belgium Comes to West Chester (BCWC)!

Open your calendar right now and block off Saturday, January 30, from 1–6 p.m. Actually, block off the whole day—after this multi-tap, you’ll need a nap. We’ve gathered 34 rare and prized Belgian and Belgian-style beers from 5 of our locations and 26 of our friends.

BCWC was the brainchild of senior head brewer Chris LaPierre in 2007 when he was a brewer at our West Chester location (he’s now at Iron Hill Chestnut Hill). It was wildly popular from the start, so we’ve kept it going—and growing—ever since.

“BCWC is our chance to represent our region’s cool variety of Belgians,” West Chester senior head brewer Paul Rutherford said. “Most of the brewers you’ll meet that day are our friends who we see on the regular. We love meeting everyone who comes out that day, and we especially love seeing our brewer-friends exposing their beer to our customers.”

The brawn behind BCWC is West Chester lead brewer Chris Endrikat. He’s done the heavy lifting to pull the day together and serves as the event’s host. Wind your way through the crowd that day to say hello to Chris, hit him with a fist-pump and see what he’s drinking (you’ll want to make sure you try that!).

BCWC is a line-out-the-door event, but we’ve got the insider scoop you need to know to get the most out of the day.

Top 5 Tips for Attending BCWC 2016

  1. Come as early as possible!
  2. Be responsible and plan for your transportation. If snagging a DD is an issue, make a reservation with Restaurant Valet: (877) 721-6155. Or you can take a page from our Philly-area friends’ playbook: a bunch rent a bus to port them to and fro. Nice!
  3. Plan to eat something—throughout the day. Your best bet for grabbing at table at Iron Hill and noshing on our regular menu plus the day’s Belgium-inspired fare (see that below!) is to make a reservation well ahead of time. Use OpenTable or call us at (610) 738-9600.
  4. Sip on a sampler! It’s the best way to try a variety of beers. Samplers are ten 4-ounce beers for $20. The pro move: each friend gets a different one to share.
  5. Attention King of the Hill Rewards Club members: you, our most loyal customers, may enter BCWC at noon. Cheers!

Announcing the BCWC 2016 Beer Lineup

  • Iron Hill Phoenixville Lavender Tripel, a Belgian-style golden ale aged on fresh lavender from a local farm
  • Iron Hill Chestnut Hill 2014 Brett Lappy New Beer, an American saison aged in used wine barrels with brettanomyces for nearly a year
  • Iron Hill Media Tawny Port Barrel-Aged Brett Old Ale, an award-winning traditional English-style brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged in second-use tawny port barrels
  • Dock Street Nino’s Prickly Pear, a classic European-style farmhouse ale brewed with prickly pears for vibrant ruby color and barrel aged with wild yeasts for 18 months
  • Boulevard Brewing Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, a complex straw-colored ale with grapefruit notes and a dry, peppery finish
  • Tired Hands SaisonHands, a four-grain saison brewed with rye, oats and wheat, then hopped and conditioned in large oak foudres with house saison yeast
  • Stewart’s Stumbling Monk, a strong golden ale hopped with a healthy addition of Styrian Goldings hops
  • Yards Belgian Golden, a Belgian-style golden ale aged for a year in a red wine barrel with brettanomyces lambics
  • Levante Twin Spires, a Belgian-style IPA made with local Deer Creek Malthouse malt for complex spice character
  • Duvel Moortgat Duvel, a Belgian golden ale with aromas of grapefruit, dry aroma and a slightly bitter aftertaste
  • Iron Hill Lancaster Bourbon-Aged Fe10, brewed with Belgian abbey yeast, dark candi sugar and assorted malts, then aged in a rye whiskey barrel for nine months
  • Iron Hill Media Kriek, a traditional, unfiltered Belgian-style lambic with wild yeast and bacteria, aged for two years with wild cherries in oak barrels
  • Iron Hill West Chester Van Damme, a Belgian-style golden strong ale aged on La Colombe signature Colombian coffee beans
  • Forest and Main Melange de Jour, a blend of saisons barrel aged with brettanomyces and lactobacillus
  • Sterling Pig Saison d’Hiver, a classic Belgian-style saison that is light blonde in color, with flavors and aromas of fruit and spice
  • 3rd Wave Hang Ten, a bourbon barrel-aged sour raspberry Belgian-style tripel, with candi sugar sweetness, aged for nine months
  • Fins Big Oyster Black and Blue Tripel, a Belgian-style golden ale aged on black tea and dried blueberries, with notes of bananas and spices
  • Vault Belgian Golden, a Belgian-style golden ale that is aged in apple brandy barrels for eight months or more
  • Coppertail Weequasher, a sour session IPA with citrus and pine notes from the American hops blend
  • Ommegang Rosetta, a blend of young Flemish-style brown ale and old Flemish style brown ale aged for at least three years on cherries
  • Iron Hill Chestnut Hill Wild Cannibal, Iron Hill’s famed Cannibal aged in a wine barrel with wild yeast for more than a year
  • Iron Hill Media Raspberry Torte, house porter aged in a red wine barrel previously used to age a framboise
  • Brooklyn Lord Sorachi, a “super saison” that is pungent, hoppy and strong with notes of lemon, dill and lemongrass
  • McKenzie’s Saison Vautour, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale with bold, spicy yeast character and a dry, hoppy finish
  • Denizens Bocho Bandido, a Belgian-style tripel aged in mezcal barrels with lactobacillus and brett drie fontenin, blended with lime goes
  • Boxcar Third R’ale Triple, a Belgian-style tripel with notes of bananas and cloves and a smooth finish
  • 2SP Dark As Night, an imperial dark saison brewed with American hops, chocolate malt, French saison yeast and brettanomyces
  • Troegs 2014 Mad Elf, a Belgian-style ruby red ale reminiscent of ripened cherries, raw honey and cocoa with notes of cinnamon, clove and allspice
  • Victory V Twelve, a Belgian-style quadruple with aromatic fruity notes and hints of pear and apricot, followed by refreshing dryness
  • Allagash Tiarna, a blend of two beers, one aged in oak with brettanomyces, the other aged in stainless with Belgian yeasts
  • Dogfish Head Higher Math, the brewery’s 20th anniversary celebration beer, a golden ale brewed with chocolate and sour cherry juice
  • Firestone Walker Opal, an unfiltered interpretation of the classic saisons that originated from the eighteenth-century farmhouses of southern Belgium’s Wallonia region; spice character from the yeast blends with citrus and tropical fruit notes imparted by dry-hopping
  • Brouwerij Rodenbach Grand Cru, a Flanders red ale with hints of ripe berries and oak, at once rich, effervescent and tart
  • Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious, a golden ale dry-hopped with amarillo hops and aged in apple brandy barrels, tropical aroma from the hops and delicate apple aroma from the barrel are a perfect match

Save Room for Belgian-Inspired Fare

  • Chicken Waterzooi, Belgian cream of chicken soup
  • Panisse, chickpea fries with dill-yogurt dipping sauce
  • Pommes Frites, house-cut fries with curry sauce andalouse
  • Open-Faced Croque Monsieur, ham, gruyere and mornay sauce on toasted brioche (make it a Croque Madame with the addition of a sunny-side egg!)
  • Belgian Meatballs with potato bread croutons and golden raisin-apple syrup
  • Flemish Beef Tenderloin Stew with potato stoemp, roasted pearl onions, Belgian ale gravy and mustard toast
  • Moules Frites Brabant, with leeks, garlic, lemon and witbier, or Moules Frites Conchon, with apple, bacon, bleu cheese and saison, both served with house-cut fries and rosemary-roasted garlic mayonnaise
  • Pan-Roasted North Atlantic Salmon with carrot and potato stoemp, buttered haricots verts and Belgian witbier beurre blanc

One last tip: make sure your smartphone is charged so you can blow up your social media and be the envy of your friends with the hashtag #BCWC2016. We can’t wait to welcome you!

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone